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BARON DE LOUIS CHARLES AUGUSTE LE TON...

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 501 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARON DE LOUIS CHARLES AUGUSTE LE TONNELIER BRETEUIL (1730-1807), French diplomatist, was born at the chateau of Azay-le-Feron (Indre) on the 7th of March 1730. He was only twenty-eight when he was appointed by Louis XV. ambassador to the elector of Cologne, and two years later he was sent to St Petersburg. He arranged to be temporarily absent from his post at the time of the palace revolution by which Catherine II. was placed on the throne. In 1769 he was sent to Stockholm, and subsequently represented his government at Vienna, Naples, and again at Vienna until 1783, when he was recalled to become minister of the king's household. In this capacity he introduced considerable reforms in prison administration. A close friend of Marie Antoinette, he presently came into collision with Calonne, who demanded his dismissal in 1787. His influence with the king and queen, especially with the latter, remained unshaken, and on Necker's dismissal on the 1th of July 1789, Breteuil succeeded him as chief minister. The fall of the Bastille three days later put an end to the new ministry, and Breteuil made his way to Switzerland with the first party of emigres. At Soleure, in November 1790, he received from Louis XVI. exclusive powers to negotiate with the European courts, and in his efforts to check the ill-advised diplomacy of the emigre princes, he soon brought himself into opposition with his old rival Calonne, who held a chief place in their councils. After the failure of the flight to Varennes, in the arrangement of which he had a share, Breteuil received instructions from Louis XVI., designed to restore amicable relations with the princes. His distrust of the king's brothers and his defence of Louis XVI.'s prerogative were to some extent justified, but his intransigeant attitude towards these princes emphasized the dissensions of the royal family in the eyes of foreign sovereigns, who looked on the comte de Provence as the natural representative of his brother and found a pretext for non-interference on Louis's behalf in the contradictory statements of the negotiators. Breteuil himself was the object of violent attacks from the party of the princes, who asserted that he persisted in exercising powers which had been revoked by Louis XVI. After the execution of Marie Antoinette he retired into private life near Hamburg, only returning to France in 1802. He died in Paris on the 2nd of November 1807. See the memoirs of Bertrand de Molleville (2 vols., Paris, 1816) and of the marquis de Bouille (2 vols., Paris, 1884) ; and E. Daudet, Coblentz, 1789-1793 (1889), forming part of his Hist. de l'emigration. BR$TIGNY, a French town (dept. Eure-et-Loir, arrondissement and canton of Chartres, commune of Sours), which gave its name to a celebrated treaty concluded there on the 8th of May 136o, between Edward III. of England and John II., surnamed the Good, of France. The exactions of the English, who wished to yield as few as possible of the advantages claimed by them in the treaty of London, made negotiations difficult, and the discussion of terms begun early in April lasted more than a month. By virtue of this treaty Edward III. obtained, besides Guienne and Gascony, Poitou, Saintonge and Aunis, Agenais, Perigord, Limousin, Quercy, Bigorre, the countship of Gaure, Angoumois, Rouergue, Montreuil-sur-mer, Ponthieu, Calais, Sangatte, Ham and the countship of Guines. John II. had, moreover, to pay three millions of gold crowns for his ransom. On his side the king of England gave up the duchies of Normandy and Touraine, the countships of Anjou and Maine, and the suzerainty of Brittany and of Flanders. As a guarantee for the payment of his ransom, John the Good gave as hostages two of his sons, several princes and nobles, four inhabitants of Paris, and two citizens from each of the nineteen principal towns of France. This treaty was ratified and sworn to by the two kings and by their eldest sons on the 24th of October 136o, at Calais. At the same time were signed the special conditions relating to each important article of the treaty, and the renunciatory clauses in which the kings abandoned their rights over the territory they had yielded to one another. See Rymer's Foedera, vol. iii.; Dumont, Corps diplomatique, vol. ii.; Froissart, ed. Luce, vol. vi.; Les Grandes Chroniques de France, ed. P. Paris, vol. vi. ; E. Cosneau, Les Grands Traites de la guerre de cent ans (1889).
End of Article: BARON DE LOUIS CHARLES AUGUSTE LE TONNELIER BRETEUIL (1730-1807)
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